L5R - A new Beginning

First day of Gempukku

In the morning the heroes wake up for a day full of promises, each of them go through their daily ritual before eating a quick breakfast at the tea house and then heading towards the Kakita Dueling Academy.

They meet up short moments before the tournament starts. Hida Kosuke speaks softly to Moto Haruki about a possible alliance during the team oriented hunt event that they found out the night before. Haruki questions the wisdom in this but finally agrees as Kosuke mentions that he is proficient in hunting down prey as he has been beyond the wall and killed a goblin himself. Soshi Ito comes in a little after the conversation finishes and Kosuke approaches him for a possible alliance for the hunting event, Ito ponders for a moment but agrees as both Kosuke and Haruki are most likely more proficient with hunting than he is.

As the conversation finishes Miya Shikan announces the rules for the Championship. The Topaz Championship is held over three days and they will be tested in all manner of skills they are expected to know. Points are awarded to those that receive the highest marks in each contest and the competitor who achieves the most points overall is declared the Topaz Champion. A competitor must gather a total of five points to “pass” and complete their gempukku.

Miya Shikan announces that the first day has the following events: Sumai, Heraldry, Athletics, Horsemanship and a discussion on the elements of law, etiquette, and the code of Bushido.

To pair up contestants, Miya Shikan reaches into an exquisitely crafted vase which contains ceramic tiles, each tile has the chop of a single contestant on it. As for competitions that is not a contest, the tiles will determine in what order the contestants will be tested.

The first event which is Sumai is announced, Miya Shikan reaches into the vase and announces the competitors 3 pairs at a time. As expected the more scholarly of the contestants do pretty badly in the sumai, Ito looses his match-up and so does Kosuke as he is matched up against Hida Chorotaku, a fellow Crab that is easily just as impressive in physique as Kosuke. Chorotaku wins however as he is more proficient in sumai. Haruki wins his match-up as he is paired against a contestant with a more scholarly inclination, earning him 1 point.

The second event is Heraldry and none of the heroes manages to pass. All of them fail to identify the mon of a vassal family and the mon/chop of an individual samurai.

The third event is a test of Athletics. All three manages to pass this event earning them a point each.

The fourth event is Horsemanship, the event is divided into 2 smaller tests. First is to ride the first area and then strike a target from horseback with a sword or a naginata, second test is to ride to the second area and fire an arrow at a target before riding back to the starting line. Only Haruki manages to pass this event as he is the only one with any horsemanship experience, earning him yet another point. The other two are able to ride but anything beyond riding is not possible for them.

The last event for the day is the test of Law, Etiquette and Bushido. Shikan is the judge for the event. All three of the heroes pass this event after pausing to think about the question, earning them 1 point each.

After the end of the first days competition Ito and Kosuke has 2 points each and Haruki has 4 points.

The three decide to head back to the tea house when they are finished to get some refreshments and plan for the next day, it also offers an opportunity to get to know the rest of the contestants better.

At the edge of adulthood

A the edge of adulthood when most boys seek to prove their worthiness to be called adult an opportunity has presented itself to dozens of samurai in the Topaz Championship. The honor to attend such an event is great, even greater is the shame however of failing your family and your clan. Especially considering the Emperor himself will be attending the tournament.

The story focuses on 3 samurai from 3 different clans, their paths intertwines as they meet in the Kakita town of Tsuma in Crane lands. The Championship is to be held at the Kakita Dueling Academy. Each samurai has made the journey from their own lands to the town with the blessings of their Daimyo and Sensei, to fail now would bring great shame and embarrassment to their clan.

Soshi Ito is from the lands of the Scorpion, soft spoken and observant; he is a Shugenja and carries a scroll satchel.

Moto Haruki hails from the Unicorn lands, he is a large man on the cusp of adulthood. He is unaccustomed to how the rest of Rokugan lives and speaks with a directness most would wince at.

Hida Kosuke is the large and loud Crab Bushi, he is boisterous and loves to unwind with a bottle of sake. He is proud of his physical prowess but when it comes to courtly games he is quick to get out of the way.

The journey to the Crane lands have been uneventful and on the road they have been stopped by magistrates inspecting their papers. The three would be samurai’s make their way to the tea house – House of the Laughing Carp. At the tea house, they were each assigned a room and for lack of space shared a table where they engaged in small conversation before the evenings main event started. The arrival of the Emperor and his entourage.

The Emperor is is escorted by a half dozen Imperial Guardsmen. The local samurai and contestants gather in the streets to bow and greet the Son of Heaven. The entourage is composed of: The Emperor Toturi XII, his two eldest twin sons, Hatsu and Kobashi, each wearing the mons of the Crane and Lion schools where they have been fostered. Walking between the two sons is their youngest sister, Toturi Chisa.

Closely behind the Emperor is Miya Shikan, the Imperial Herald, who is also serving as Master of Ceremonies for the tournament. Shikan is somewhat stiff and the look on his face is faintly disapproving as he acknowledges the bows of the crowd.

The Lion daimyo and Emerald Champion, Matsu Hoketsaku is accompanied by his son Matsu Nimoro. They are also accompanied by Akodo Gintaku, the Akodo family daimyo.

Coming alongside the Lions is the handsome Crane Champion, Doji Sarutomo, he is accompanied by an elderly woman whose tottering pace is supported by both a cane and a pair of young handmaidens. The elderly woman is O-Doji Koneko, the Crane Clan matron, widow of the previous Champion.

The whole entourage make their way to the Kakita Dueling Academy where they are welcomed by Kakita Saburashi, the daimyo of the Kakita family and one of the senior sensei at the Dueling Academy. Saburashi gives a brief specch welcoming the contestants, and reminding them how honored they are to have the Emperor in attendance.

After the welcoming ceremony is done, everybody retires to their own. Our young heroes retire back to the House of the Laughing Carp, where they pick up information from the other contestants of what events might be in the tournament before turning in for the night.


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